Reductions in Violence

In the comments down below, Daddy Love points to an article that debunks much of the conventional wisdom on what effect our military footprint is having in Iraq.

The British army says violence in Basra has fallen by 90% since it withdrew from the southern Iraqi city earlier this year.

Around 500 British soldiers left one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces in the heart of the city in early September and stopped conducting regular foot patrols.

A spokesman says the Iraqi security forces still come under attack from militants in Basra, but the overall level of violence is down 90% since the British troops left.

Britain is scheduled to return control of Basra province to Iraqi officials next month, officially ending Britain’s combat role in Iraq.

Comments

  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It should be obvious the U.S. presence in Iraq is inciting, not quelling, violence. We’re a foreign invader occupying their country. Naturally they’re trying to throw us out. What would YOU do if a foreign invader occupied YOUR country? Oh wait, America IS an occupied country …

  2. 2

    Right Stuff spews:

    All the Iraqi Gov has to do is ask us to leave and we will leave. That is the stated position of the President.
    They don’t ask because they want and need us there….

    The situation is improving in Iraq, to the deep dismay of the Democrat party who has invested so much devisive political capital in the failure of the war on terrorism.

  3. 3

    George spews:

    How many Iraqis have immigrated to the US since the War and how many will come after we leave ?

  4. 4

    proud leftist spews:

    RightStuff @ 2: “All the Iraqi Gov has to do is ask us to leave and we will leave. That is the stated position of the President.”

    You’re not that naive, are you? Do you remember what happened when the Iraqi government recently asked Blackwater to leave? How’d that work out? The “stated position of the President” has nothing to do with what he does. There is no connection whatsoever between Bush’s words and his deeds.

  5. 5

    correctnot right spews:

    @2: Wrongstuff: Get a life and a realistic view!

    The situation is improving… – for how long?

    The political situation has gone nowhere and only time will tell when the rearmed sunnis turn from fighting al quaida to fighting the shias.

    The inherent political problems are still there – the deaths are down due to prior ethnic cleansing, millions have left the country and only heavily armed militias are left. It is a recipe for disaster…
    there are fewer jobs, the elctricity still isn’t working and most of the capable people have left.
    so your argument is that it is not quite as bad in Iraq as it could be???
    How pathetic?
    and by the way – it is the Democratic party. You shouldn’t even try to insult something you can’t spell right.

    I don’t call all repuglicans that – there are some that can be saved from the rampant corruption and ineptitude that typifies the GOP.

  6. 6

    spews:

    @2
    Right Stuff, you’re normally smarter than this. The Iraqi government has repeatedly asked for timetables and for American troops to cede more control to Iraqis, but they’ve been overruled by the Bush Administration. The Iraqi government has no real power, and barely even exists at this point.

  7. 7

    George Hanshaw spews:

    I remember when the Dems were all for George McGovern. It really didn’t occur to them that rooting against the US was something that would enrage most of the non-left wing voters. Let’s see, how many states did McGovern win….one of fifty, wasn’t it? Massachussetts, IIRC.

    And that was against tricky Dick Nixon, hardly a loveable guy in his own right…….

  8. 8

    George Hanshaw spews:

    Ever notice that the same people that are upset because we went in to Iraq are now pushing for us to “do something” about Musharaff, because he’s anti-democratic? As opposed to that old populist Saddam…… LOL

  9. 9

    proud leftist spews:

    Handjob @ 8: “Ever notice that the same people that are upset because we went in to Iraq are now pushing for us to “do something” about Musharaff, because he’s anti-democratic?”

    Those people are not pushing for an invasion of Pakistan, which would be idiocy of the highest order. The apples and oranges thrust of your post suggests an inability to organize your thoughts. Let me give you a helpful hint: wipe your ass after shitting, not before.

  10. 10

    spews:

    @7
    I remember when the Dems were all for George McGovern.

    I don’t. I wasn’t born yet. To people your age, that may mean something. To people my age who are losing friends and relatives in Iraq, you just sound like an out-of-touch asshole who hasn’t understood a damn thing that’s happened in this world since the early 70s.

    It really didn’t occur to them that rooting against the US was something that would enrage most of the non-left wing voters. Let’s see, how many states did McGovern win….one of fifty, wasn’t it? Massachussetts, IIRC.

    Well, guess what, the entire country is pissed at you and all the other fools who are still trying to fight the Vietnam War in your own minds. Even the one Republican who sounds like George McGovern is raising more money than the stiffs who want to continue the Iraq War.

    Ever notice that the same people that are upset because we went in to Iraq are now pushing for us to “do something” about Musharaff, because he’s anti-democratic? As opposed to that old populist Saddam…… LOL

    Who says that the people who are upset that we went into Iraq didn’t want to “do something” about Saddam? We did want to do something about Saddam, but we were smart enough to know that if you invade and occupy the country, you end up helping terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda. And that’s exactly what happened.

    Here’s a suggestion. Do some homework, look at a calendar (it’s 2007) and grow a fucking brain before you come here and embarrass yourself again.

  11. 11

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Pervez Musharraf is irrelevant, and will likely be deposed by his own people without any need for the US to get involved. His own gambit of placating the tribal groups hiding OBL, then blaming them for his need to declare martial law has only succeeded in uniting the entire country against him. Sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it? And we never have needed his ‘help’ in the War on Terr’r anyway. All we needed to do (and never did) was use Special Forces to infiltrate and locate the bastard, and then relay that information to the F-117 Nighthawk or B-2 Spirit kept in position over the Pakistan-Afghanistan border with a low-yield nuke. More likely than not, any collateral damage wouldn’t be more than a few sheepherders.

    Hit ‘em like you’ve got a pair, I always say…….

  12. 12

    OneMan spews:

    Boy am I sick of being accused of wanting the mission in Iraq to fail. Do you really believe that? Based on what?

    It sure sounds a lot like the usual crap coming from the right wing echo chamber, attributing attitudes and desires to the opposition based on…I don’t know, wishful thinking. Wishful thinking appears to be pretty much the only strategy the right has to offer. Go ahead, ask me “based on what?”

    Here’s one data point for ya: would I like the bump to Bush’s reputation if AQI staged a mass surrender and the sectarian factions held a giant group hug? Nope. But I could live with it in return for seeing our troops come home.

    I won’t be holding my breath for that, that’s for damn sure.

  13. 13

    spews:

    @12
    Well said. I sometimes cringe when I step back and look at how angry I’ve become with these people, but at this point, there are no more excuses. If someone can’t figure out that Iraq represents the most crystal-clear demonstration of the failure of the modern Republican approach to foreign policy, they need help.

  14. 14

    spews:

    @9…PL…

    That “idiocy of the highest order” is Barack Obama’s foreign policy and has been for a long time. In 2004, he advocated missle strikes against both Iran and Pakistan.

    See http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....5304.story

    More recently, Obama has advocated unilateral action inside Pakistan irrespective of any permission from the government of that country.

    See http://www.reuters.com/article.....6420070801

    While neither article deals with turbulence following recent shake-ups in Pakistan, they’re nevertheless evidence that the Demo prexy candidate of choice among the HA Happy Hooligans (he gets more orgasmic, “uh-huh’s” than the rest of them combined) is hot to go to not quite make Pakistan our 51st state, but to at least start a massive missile-based urban renewal project going.

    So, you might try not wiping with your foot just before sticking it in your mouth…most unsanitary and an invitation for multiple trips to the chiropractor.

    The Piper

  15. 15

    spews:

    @14
    Crackpiper, the last time I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t a black Senator from Illinois, so I’m not exactly sure what your point is.

    If Obama thinks that missile strikes in Iran or Pakistan would be beneficial to our interests at this moment, I think he’s wrong. There are certain actions that we could (and probably should take) with respect to terrorism within Pakistan, but we’d have to be very careful that what we do doesn’t blow up in our faces again. Bush has put us in a difficult spot in that regard because the key component in whether any kind of action like that is successful is whether or not people in that region respect and trust our power. Right now, they overwhelmingly don’t. And that means that regardless of what Obama says, he won’t even have some of those options because of George W Bush.

  16. 16

    OneMan spews:

    Piper, there’s a pretty big difference between “targeted strikes” and full-blown invasion; perhaps you could google those terms and work it out.

    The concept of “hot pursuit” could arguably be applied to such a situation as Obama describes:

    “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,”

    Which hypothetical, by the way, contains a couple of pretty big “if”s.

    Do I think it’s good policy? Let’s put it this way…I don’t think it’s good public policy. I think a whisper in the ear of Musharraf through diplomatic channels while publicly supporting him…arguably Bush’s policy toward Pakistan from what I can tell…would be a better policy.

    The problem of how to cope with a dictator whom you’ve brought into your tent but who isn’t being that much help and has in fact apparently made a separate peace with your enemies in his territory…well that ain’t an easy problem to solve.

    Doesn’t lend itself to soundbyte policy statements, so anybody who says anything without having the time to fully explain him (or her) self just looks stupid.

    As opposed to Bush, who looks dumber the more he talks.

  17. 17

    OneMan spews:

    Heh, what Lee said.

    So Piper, if you’re so damn smart, what would you do about Pakistan?

  18. 18

    proud leftist spews:

    Piper @ 14
    I realize that nuance is hard for neocons to do, but there is a difference between “invasion of Pakistan” and what Obama has “advocated.” He has not, in fact, advocated anything with regard to Pakistan. Rather, he has, as you folks say, spoke in a manner that would keep his “options open” if he were to become president.

  19. 19

    proud leftist spews:

    OneMan @ 16
    Yeah, what you said. People like Piper see only black and white. People like us are burdened with all the shades of color that nature gives us. Nonetheless, though people like Piper can prance through life without ever having to think too hard, I’d rather accept the burden that reason imposes upon us.

  20. 21

    Daddy Love spews:

    Is there any better evidence that what we are facing in Iraq is not the Great International Terrorist Conspiracy, but the natural hatred of subjugated people against the Invader And Occupier?

    Jesus, the crap that gets spewed, and believed, about the Central Front, etc. It’s the biggest load of shit America has ever been asked to swallow. And Republicans just smile and say, “Thank you sir, please give me another.”

  21. 22

    George spews:

    #10
    Lee says:

    @7
    I remember when the Dems were all for George McGovern.

    “I don’t. I wasn’t born yet. To people your age, that may mean something. To people my age who are losing friends and relatives in Iraq, you just sound like an out-of-touch asshole who hasn’t understood a damn thing that’s happened in this world since the early 70s.”

    #10
    “I don’t. I wasn’t born yet”.
    That’s why you are so fucking brain dead only thinking of yourself.

    ‘To people your age, that may mean something”.
    Yes that means knowledge of history.

    “To people my age who are losing friends and relatives in Iraq”,
    By this response all you are thinking about is yourself, Us old people have lost friends and relatives in many WAR’S including Iraq.

    “you just sound like an out-of-touch asshole who hasn’t understood a damn thing that’s happened in this world since the early 70s.”
    you just sound like an out-of-touch asshole who hasn’t understood a damn thing that’s happened in this world.

  22. 23

    proud leftist spews:

    DL @ 21: “Is there any better evidence that what we are facing in Iraq is not the Great International Terrorist Conspiracy, but the natural hatred of subjugated people against the Invader And Occupier?”

    Sadly, the Bushites and wingnuts who frequent this blog (not that there’s any difference between them) don’t have a clue what your question is referring to.

  23. 24

    spews:

    @18…PL…

    “Options open?” Na…he got pretty specific…Whether it’s a targeted strike or a 60-mile wide invasion by elements of the 173rd Airborne (currently stationed in Eastern Afghanistan), it’s an “invasion.”

    The point isn’t how dumb it was for Barack to get so specific, but, rather, what @8…George Hanshaw…said in pointing out the mutually exclusive dichotomy that seems to be bubbling to the surface here. Then PL got all bent out of shape at the exposure of the hypocrisy and tried to make distinctions without differences.

    What to do with Pakistan? What a mess! There needs to be some sort of power sharing between Musharaff and Benazir Bhutto – I’m not sure whether either of them can survive without some sort of accommodation from the other.

    Frankly, I genuinely fear Pakistan’s nuclear capability falling into radical hands, and there’s no shortage of them in that country. Whether they’re used against us tactically in Afghanistan, strategically in the region or at home (smuggled in and detonated), or against India for old time’s sake, that threat overlays everything that will, can, or should be done.

    No matter what’s done, we’ll probably have to do business with people that would creep us all out.

    No doubt whispering in Musharraf’s ear that he’ll get cut off if he doesn’t ease up is taking place. Yet even if he doesn’t, can the U.S. simply abandon him? With no guarantee that something way worse won’t take his place? Is that an acceptable risk for any administration to take? Replace Musharraf, over whom the U.S. has considerable influence and who’s willing to cooperate, with some madrassas-trained fanatic? No guarantee that Bhutto would get the job if he gets bounced.

    At a minimum…I’m all for demanding that Pakistan cease production of bagpipes (more sets are made there than perhaps even Scotland) and related supplies. Paki Pipes, as they’re called in the Highland community, are sold for $200 or less on E-Bay, Lark in the Mornin’, and other outlets to unsuspecting suckers who think you can learn to play a pipe on the cheap. Total trash!

    But seriously…Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and who control’s it has to be at the top of the list of concerns. Simply lobbing a “hot pursuit” missle or F-18 into Pakistan airspace or territory isn’t a policy, it’s almost a panic.

    To contend that somehow or another we’d have greater influence and credibility in the region were it not for Bush implies that sans Bush, they’d all love us, which isn’t true. Remember, there were Taliban and al-Quida sponsored and conducted terrorist attacks with deep roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan well before Dubya took office.

    Osama bin Laden has been at war with the U.S. since the Clinton administration. The first Twin Towers episode, the USS Cole, the African embassies, etc., all occured well before Iraq or Dubya’s administration. Even the 9/11 attacks were planned not to strike at Bush or Bush policies, but to attack the United States no matter who was in the Oval Office.

    The minds behind this stuff were the way they are before Iraq, weren’t occassioned by Iraq, and will hate us even after Iraq; the fault isn’t ours, dear friends, but theirs.

    In your confessed anger and hatred against all things Bush or any who even give him the time of day, this is something that a lot of you seem to ignore. It both blinds your analysis and colors your opinions such that you fail to take into account any POV that isn’t Bush-centric in its blame or responsibility.

    How about acknowledging that?

    The Piper

  24. 25

    spews:

    @19…PL…

    Your nuance and shades of color are often excuses for ignoring what’s before you and fiddling while Rome burns.

    You like to be sophisticated where clarity is necessary, and black and white yourself when it comes to both smearing those who won’t agree with you and claiming some moral purity of your own.

    The Piper

  25. 26

    Daddy Love spews:

    AQ is far different from the threats posed by and caused by our illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Sure, AQ targeted us before Iraq. Elementary school.

    But now we’ve set the Sunni world against the Shi’ite world in Iraq and that could boil right out of that region, Kurds are taking independence into their own hands which is giving Turkey an itchy trigger finger, and the only major counterbalance to Iranian influence in the region is a destroyed nation with a weak and useless American puppet government.

    AQ and Pakistan were a problem before and will still be, but in Iraq we stirred up another hornets nest and it is one that turns potential Muslim allies worldwide against us EVERY DAY.

    We should leave. And then violence in Iraq will drop.

  26. 27

    Daddy Love spews:

    Let’s see, the Republican candidates are all insane warmongers who vie to see who is more batshit crazy and more bloodthirsty, but we should worry because Barack Obama wants to keep his options open. Hmmm….

  27. 28

    Jane Balough's Dog spews:

    remember when the Dems were all for George McGovern.

    I don’t. I wasn’t born yet. To people your age, that may mean something. To people my age who are losing friends and relatives in Iraq, you just sound like an out-of-touch asshole who hasn’t understood a damn thing that’s happened in this world since the early 70s.

    No,people your age are mostly morons… especially the ones at war protests. Go get a job and when you start earning money then vote. Until then keep your vote to yourself, you snotty nose punk.

  28. 29

    Liberal_Crusher spews:

    Hey libtards, MAN UP and don’t make excuses for your “boy” Obama’s foot-in-mouth disease.

  29. 30

    George Hanshaw spews:

    @10….Hey Lee,

    “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana

    The lesson was that when forced to chose between a McGovern and a Nixon, the US populace opted for a Nixon. You think the outcome would be different today? I don’t. I once met George McGovern….he doesn’t think it would be any different today either.

    From NPR:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....d=15843708

    One of the more interesting messages I received in Iowa just prior to the 2004 Democratic caucuses — at a time when I still thought Howard Dean was going to triumph — was the fact that voters thought more with their heads than with their hearts. Many voted for John Kerry, they said, because he was the one who would defeat President Bush — not the mercurial and sometimes intemperate Dean. It was a practicality Democrats completely ignored in 1972 when they let their anti-war passion lead them to nominate George McGovern, who promptly lost 49 out of 50 states to President Richard Nixon that year.

  30. 31

    proud leftist spews:

    Piper @ 25: “You like to be sophisticated where clarity is necessary, and black and white yourself when it comes to both smearing those who won’t agree with you and claiming some moral purity of your own.”

    Guilty, every once in awhile, as charged. Might you, m’lad, plead not guilty on this one?

  31. 32

    spews:

    @30
    The lesson was that when forced to chose between a McGovern and a Nixon, the US populace opted for a Nixon. You think the outcome would be different today?

    Um, yes. Do you actually doubt that? And it’s thanks to the fact that Bush is seen as the culmination of Nixon politics.

  32. 33

    spews:

    @32…PL…

    Fair enough…Let’s say that more than enough time is spent demonizing and not enough understanding. I don’t question your patriotism, just your position on issues.

    The Piper

  33. 34

    spews:

    @32…Lee…

    Then you don’t understand the level of repudiation dealt not only George McGovern, but also his philosophy of both governance and and his position on Vietnam. He was rejected not only by the voters, but also by many in his own party, including Washington’s own Henry Jackson. In fact, I’ve long suspected Scoop voted for Nixon in ’72.

    The Democratic Pary still suffers from McGovern’s influence, and this is voiced most strongly by Democrats.

    The Piper

  34. 35

    George Hanshaw spews:

    @32

    Um, yes. Do you actually doubt that?

    Um, yes….I certainly do. But should your party WISH to run Edwards or someone equally far out in left field, you certainly have my approval, if not my vote. ;)

  35. 37

    proud leftist spews:

    Piper @ 34: “The Democratic Pary still suffers from McGovern’s influence, and this is voiced most strongly by Democrats.”

    I wish to hell the “Democratic Pary [sic] still suffer[ed] from McGovern’s influence.” Unfortunately, the whole nation failed to pay attention to George McGovern in 1972, and the whole world has suffered as a result. Democrats have listened too much to Republicans after the Reagan nonsense tainted the national political dialogue. Reagan Recovery is something that folks of both parties need to engage in. We are seeing signs of the “Reagan Democrats” coming back to their natural home. Glory be. (How about playing Amazing Grace on those pipes.)

  36. 38

    spews:

    @34 and @35
    Hey guys, please look at a calendar. It’s not the early 70s. Much has changed since then. Iraq is not Vietnam. In the early 70s, it was conceivable to point to anti-war activism as the fringe. Today, pro-war cheerleading has become the fringe, and you’re part of it. If you think the name George McGovern matters to any voter under the age of 40, you’re in for a very rude surprise next November.

  37. 40

    spews:

    @38…Lee…

    It may not be the early 70’s, but what happened then matters now since events and decisions of that time influence today’s events and decisions.

    The McGovern influence might be puzzling to an under-40, but it’s still there, much to the chagrin of many in the Democratic Party who preferred the stream of foreign and domestic policy thinking favored by FDR, Truman, JFK, Henry Jackson, and others cut from that bolt of cloth.

    Joe Lieberman, at home in that wing of the Democratic Pary and representing thinking and postions those Democrats would likely take were they on the scene today, is anathema to the left, and therein lies your dilemma: trapped by the rigidity of left over McGovern, Frank Church, Bella Abzug, and Jimmy Carter thinking, today’s Democrats have a hard time acting locally in a global perspective.

    Don’t confuse your thinking with the majority POV, which is notoriously fickle and subject to change on a dime. A few more reports like this http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11.....nted=print and you might find some of that anti-Bush polling softening while support for him strengthens.

    Most Americans aren’t as ideologically driven as those of us who live and die on this stuff. If positive results from Iraq start pouring in, then they’ll be satisfied and support the effort. To them, it’s never a left-right divide, but a results driven process.

    Lincoln faced similar public opinion issues in 1862 and 1863. Until Gettysburg, he was in trouble politically, but after the half-victory there (Meade failed to exploit his advantage by chasing Lee’s defeated Army of Virginia back into the South) and finding generals who would actually fight and win – Grant and Sherman – the tide turned such that he soundly defeated (remember, Lincoln was elected with well under 50% of the vote in 1860) Democrat and failed former general, George McClellan, who ran as a “peace” candidate.

    That’s why in order to understand today, you have to master the history of yesterday. Both in the immediate and distant sense, the intense and objective study of the past puts the present into perspective and offers insights into the future. That’s why scholars and analysts not only study the McGovern failed – failed BIG TIME – effort of 1972, but also the politics and culture of 1872.

    There’s no more important field of human endeavor than the study of history. The cliche is true: those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it.

    So, shame on the under-40’s for having no sense of perspective or context.

    The Piper

  38. 41

    spews:

    @40
    It may not be the early 70’s, but what happened then matters now since events and decisions of that time influence today’s events and decisions.

    In some ways, they’ve influenced the people making decisions, but they’re not affecting things directly. For example, the mistakes that Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney made in the post-9/11 era were certainly influenced by their perspectives from the Vietnam era. But that’s the point I’m making. Because they were looking at the Middle East and seeing Vietnam, they made huge mistakes. Instead of dealing with the realities of the Middle East, they reverted to a different time, where instead of principled debate, the people who were dead right about the dangers of an Iraq invasion were painted in stereotypes borrowed from the 1970s.

    The McGovern influence might be puzzling to an under-40, but it’s still there, much to the chagrin of many in the Democratic Party who preferred the stream of foreign and domestic policy thinking favored by FDR, Truman, JFK, Henry Jackson, and others cut from that bolt of cloth.

    But even for those who don’t know who McGovern was, or what he stood for, they now recognize that there are times when being anti-war is prudent, pragmatic, and patriotic. And a majority of Americans now recognize that this is one of those times.

    Don’t confuse your thinking with the majority POV, which is notoriously fickle and subject to change on a dime. A few more reports like this and you might find some of that anti-Bush polling softening while support for him strengthens.

    Bush is long past the point of being able to recover in the polls, just as Iraq is long past the point of ever being considered a success. Violence has actually dropped in Iraq as American and British forces have been scaling back. What does that tell you?

    Most Americans aren’t as ideologically driven as those of us who live and die on this stuff. If positive results from Iraq start pouring in, then they’ll be satisfied and support the effort. To them, it’s never a left-right divide, but a results driven process.

    Of course, but if you think “positive results” from Iraq are going to start pouring in any day, you’re clueless. We’ve created a humanitarian disaster in that country that’s going to take decades to fully repair. Their government basically does not exist right now, and we have no real path to providing them with one. There are no miracles around the bend, and your continued belief that we can “win” this thing through military power is just pathetic.

    Lincoln faced similar public opinion issues in 1862 and 1863. Until Gettysburg, he was in trouble politically, but after the half-victory there (Meade failed to exploit his advantage by chasing Lee’s defeated Army of Virginia back into the South) and finding generals who would actually fight and win – Grant and Sherman – the tide turned such that he soundly defeated (remember, Lincoln was elected with well under 50% of the vote in 1860) Democrat and failed former general, George McClellan, who ran as a “peace” candidate.

    Honestly, if you’re comparing what’s happening in Iraq to our own Civil War, I’m not even sure why I’m even trying to have this discussion with you. We’re occupying a foreign country half-way around the globe. That’s very, very different from fighting a domestic insurgency. Are you actually having trouble differentiating between the two?

    That’s why in order to understand today, you have to master the history of yesterday.

    Yes, but you also have to be smart enough to understand that not everything in history lines up as a neat parallel. What we’re doing today has nothing in common with the Civil War, and only a little in common with WWII and Vietnam.

    Both in the immediate and distant sense, the intense and objective study of the past puts the present into perspective and offers insights into the future. That’s why scholars and analysts not only study the McGovern failed – failed BIG TIME – effort of 1972, but also the politics and culture of 1872.

    Well, if you feel up to it, I encourage you to pick up Kevin Phillips book “American Theocracy.” It details exactly how America is going down the exact same path as other imperial powers from previous times (Dutch, Spanish, and British empires). The same pattern of events occurs (and has occurred in other empires as well, from the Roman to the Ottoman to the recent Soviet Union), and it generally unfolds with a belief that the power of the state is above all else and unquestionable.

    America is still a democracy though, so we still have the ability to save ourselves from that fate. We can still decide for ourselves that power entails responsibility before the rest of the world decides we’re not fit to have the kind of power we’ve had.

    There’s no more important field of human endeavor than the study of history. The cliche is true: those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it.

    And I really encourage you to read Phillips’ book (by the way, he was one of the founders of the modern conservative movement), so that you can stop contributing to a mistake that many powerful countries have made in the past.

    So, shame on the under-40’s for having no sense of perspective or context.

    Whatever, crackpiper. You’re such a joke at this point, I don’t even know where to begin to help you understand history, responsibility, or how the world actually functions. You’ve trapped yourself into a 35 year old argument that you can’t accept that you lost and now you’re incapable of seeing anything without your insecurity from that time shining right through and blurring what might otherwise be intelligent thought. It’s pathetic.

  39. 42

    spews:

    @41…Lee…

    I’ll read Kevin Phillips when you read Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, not to mention Ann Coulter. How about David Horowitz? He’s not just a former Democrat, he was a confessed communist born of communist parents. Check out Radical Son for chilling insights into the brutality of the left.

    As for Kevin Phillips and his paranoia about anyone who has a different view of God than does he? I like what this reviewer had to say about him:

    “Pity poor Kevin Phillips. I can just imagine him holed up behind locked doors in his Litchfield, Conn., home, afraid to venture forth for fear that a horde of evangelical Christians and Texas oilmen might be out there somewhere waiting to get him.” http://thehill.com/david-hill/.....04-26.html

    Phillips is no more a founder of the modern conservative movement than are you. In Emerging Republican Majority, he read some data and drew conclusions. That certainly doesn’t make him a William F. Buckley, Jr., Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman or even P.J. O’Rourke or anyone of that stature.

    I’ve never contended that history offers neet parallels. What it offers are themes and lessons mostly lost to those under 40 who have no sense of perspective and who continue to see themselves as unique and apart from both the inexorable force of history and its compelling drive. Typical of youth, they think the rules of the road don’t apply to them, so they refuse to heed the wisdom of their elders about speed limits and left turns, thus ending up having to call home with “bad news about the car…”

    Boys don’t learn to drive until they’ve totalled two cars each. Girls, being smarter than boys, only total one.

    Lee, you have unique talent for missing points and confusing comparisons. The lesson of 1861-1865 for today isn’t that one was in the United States and one half a world away, it’s in how success and failure influence public opinion in war time.

    You’ve admitted yourself a blind hatred against George W. Bush, which, I would submit, renders you incapable of objectively reading tea leaves where he’s concerned. Proud Leftist’s admonition @31, above, is a wisdom we all need to keep in mind, and I, for one, am happy to admit my own need in that regard, as did he. How about you? Or do you think you and yours have a monopoly on truth, beauty, and wisdom?

    Just because you read a book doesn’t make you an expert. Wait until you spend a lifetime studying and thinking and being willing to stand firm in the light of truth as your conscience dictates, even in the face of the onslaught of popular sentiment of the time.

    Try thinking outside of yourself and into the great stream of history without making your personal POV and prejudices compass points toward which history must point. While Kevin Phillips may argue to the contrary, the last chapter has already been written.

    The Piper

  40. 43

    spews:

    @42
    I’ll read Kevin Phillips when you read Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, not to mention Ann Coulter.

    I have read Ann Coulter. The reason I read it was because I wanted to compare “Treason” to Mein Kampf. The two books have shocking similarities (especially with how anti-war sentiment, the press, and pacifism are addressed). In fact, my experience reading Ann Coulter’s nonsense is what got me into blogging in the first place.

    How about David Horowitz? He’s not just a former Democrat, he was a confessed communist born of communist parents.

    If he’s a communist, he’s not a Democrat. Or are you too stupid to know the difference?

    Check out Radical Son for chilling insights into the brutality of the left.

    So, the people who are demanding that the U.S. not torture people are “brutal”? Huh? Are you retarded?

    Phillips is no more a founder of the modern conservative movement than are you. In Emerging Republican Majority, he read some data and drew conclusions.

    Phillips also architected the strategy to appeal to southern voters. That was very key to the development of the Republican Party today.

    That certainly doesn’t make him a William F. Buckley, Jr., Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman or even P.J. O’Rourke or anyone of that stature.

    Actually, none of those people (other than Reagan obviously) have sided with the current Republicans today either. Milton Friedman and William Buckley were fervently against the war on drugs (which now has expanded to be the war on terror) and Buckley still argues against how Bush Republicans keep expanding the federal government. Barry Goldwater did not think it was the place of the federal government to impose morality (and was a very vocal critic of the religious right before he passed away). And P.J. O’Rourke is very far from being supportive of Bush and strongly criticizes anyone who believes that the Iraq War was somehow a smart foreign policy move (the last time I saw him on TV, he clearly said that Iraq was primarily about oil).

    I’ve never contended that history offers neet parallels. What it offers are themes and lessons mostly lost to those under 40 who have no sense of perspective and who continue to see themselves as unique and apart from both the inexorable force of history and its compelling drive.

    I don’t see myself as being apart from history. I’m just criticizing you for picking the aspects of history that you want to reference, rather than the aspects of history that are most relevant. If you want to understand Iraq and the problems we face in the Middle East, it’s better to look at the history of European occupations of that region, much moreso than Vietnam, or (I can’t even believe I have to say this) the American Civil War. I’m not arguing that history isn’t important, I’m arguing that you’re being a complete idiot when it comes to understanding which lessons of history are applicable here.

    Typical of youth, they think the rules of the road don’t apply to them, so they refuse to heed the wisdom of their elders about speed limits and left turns, thus ending up having to call home with “bad news about the car…”

    What the hell are you talking about? The under-40 generation isn’t the group running this country right now. The people who’ve given us this disastrous foreign policy, bought into silly irresponsible notions that government is a burden except when it can be used to arrest people, and just whine about taxes, are not from my generation. They’re from yours. Your generation is the one demonstrating massive irresponsibility. The under-40 crowd are the ones who aren’t digging their heads in the sand about global warming or coming up with ridiculous notions about how universal health care is communism. Your generation is the one driving recklessly, and we’re the ones learning from your mistakes.

    Boys don’t learn to drive until they’ve totalled two cars each. Girls, being smarter than boys, only total one.

    And I’ve never totalled a single one (and even though I don’t drive any more, I’ve driven in over half the U.S. states, 6 different countries, and have caused exactly 0 accidents where I had to use insurance to pay for damage to another vehicle). I’m not saying I don’t make mistakes, I’m just saying that some people learn much master than others. I’ve applied the same discipline I applied to driving to understanding how our world works. And that’s why I’m here explaining it to you now. Because you’re content to learn by breaking things rather than by being smart enough to learn how to avoid making mistakes in the first place.

    Lee, you have unique talent for missing points and confusing comparisons. The lesson of 1861-1865 for today isn’t that one was in the United States and one half a world away, it’s in how success and failure influence public opinion in war time.

    And how success and failure influences public opinion in war time is VERY DIFFERENT when the war is half-way around the globe. Are you really that dumb that you can’t figure that out?

    You’ve admitted yourself a blind hatred against George W. Bush, which, I would submit, renders you incapable of objectively reading tea leaves where he’s concerned.

    I’ve never admitted a blind hatred. I’ve admitted a “my eyes have been wide open for the past 6 years and I’ve concluded that George Bush is a dangerously incompetent Commander-In-Chief” hatred. There’s a difference.

    Or do you think you and yours have a monopoly on truth, beauty, and wisdom?

    In this discussion, I certainly have a monopoly on truth on wisdom. Beauty? Well, that’s a different set of standards altogether.

    Just because you read a book doesn’t make you an expert. Wait until you spend a lifetime studying and thinking and being willing to stand firm in the light of truth as your conscience dictates, even in the face of the onslaught of popular sentiment of the time.

    Gee, I openly fight to end the war on drugs. I think I know how that story goes. When it comes to Iraq, I’m clearly in the majority, mainly because the fact that we need to get ourselves out of Iraq is painfully obvious at this point.

    Try thinking outside of yourself and into the great stream of history without making your personal POV and prejudices compass points toward which history must point.

    How exactly is this different from what you’re doing? Your prejudice is against the anti-war liberals of the 1970s and that fixes your compass point in a direction that all history must point to. Any time you want to stop being a hypocrite, and try to debate on the facts here, go ahead. Until then, you are still a joke.

    While Kevin Phillips may argue to the contrary, the last chapter has already been written.

    Well, no, it hasn’t. We’re still a democracy. Americans can educate themselves about what happens when powerful countries start going down this path. We can be smart before we total this car, rather than totalling it and learning the lessons later.